Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons)
Harness your passion for photography and filmmaking to inspire audiences about nature and the environment. On this forward-thinking course, you’ll learn how to communicate scientific ideas and conservation stories through images, and raise awareness of other global issues, including habitat loss, climate change and plastic pollution.
|Course Duration||3 years|
The outdoors will be your studio and you'll have fantastic locations on your doorstep, as well as opportunities to travel the world. You'll also benefit from the expertise of staff members who are global practitioners, with links to the BBC Natural History Unit and National Geographic.
- Have the opportunity to take part in regular field trips and residentials to places like Dartmoor, where you'll complete first aid training for the outdoors. There are also optional international field trips, including visits to places like the Cairngorms, the Galapagos Islands and the Red Sea
- Have the option to learn professional underwater photography
- Have the chance to complete a two-week work placement in your second year
- Organise, fund and complete a self-devised project in your third year, mirroring an industry project, which could be based anywhere in the world
- Access our cutting-edge photographic equipment, as well as studios, dark rooms and post-production suites
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and made changes to our courses to provide flexible, blended delivery that offers high-quality digital engagement and access to face-to-face teaching in our facilities. You can see how your course may be adjusted by viewing the changes for the current academic year by visiting our welcome letters & latest course updates pages
What our students do
Photography Student Snaps Best in Show at the AOP Student Awards
Filmmaking for Galapagos Conservation
Celebrating Rewilding in the Cairngorms
Student Win at Underwater Photographer of the Year
Students Commissioned to Film Galapagos Land Birds
Students Praised During Final Year Show
Capturing the Red Sea
Photography Student Published in BBC Wildlife Magazine
Student Receives Special Mention at British Wildlife Photography Awards
Student Shortlisted for Prestigious Conservation Award
What our graduates do
Some of our graduates’ recent projects include filming dolphins in Hong Kong harbour, photographing salmon and bears in British Columbia, photographing sharks in Fiji and documenting a nomadic tribe in Mongolia.
Alumni Winners in Cornwall’s 30 Under 30
Role at Red Bull Kicks Off Graduate's Career
Supporting Conservation Through Film
Expeditions and Exhibitions: A Busy Life for Photography Graduate
Graduate Wins British Wildlife Photography Award
Graduate Success for Marine Photographer
National Coverage for Photography Graduate
What you'll learn
Blending professional practice with theoretical knowledge, this environmental photography course will help you develop the critical understanding essential for your future career. You'll also have the chance to gain real-world experience during and after your studies through our relationships with agencies and conservation trusts, and paid opportunities through our in-house photo agency.
You'll practice photographic skills alongside research and critical thinking. During this year, you'll explore biodiversity and habitat, as well as the marine environment, and will participate in a number of local field trips to land and marine environments.
You'll be introduced to basic photography skills and camera techniques.
Research and Critical Thinking
Learn how to generate ideas, understand the impact of photography and improve your writing.
Biodiversity and Habitat
Study the intricate web of life in a local habitat.
More advanced photographic skills and camera techniques.
Learn to communicate scientific ideas through text and photographic sequence.
The Marine Environment
Explore and photograph the seashore and oceans.
Alongside studying moving image and still photography, you'll develop your research and critical thinking skills, explore global conservation, and get ready for your own research project.
Moving Image and the Natural World
Work in groups to create a short film.
Photography of the Natural World
Learn about natural history photography and develop your own portfolio.
Conservation and its Representation
Examine conservation issues and learn how photography and moving image can make an impact.
Create your own short film and photographic story.
Culture and the Environment
Devise a research project focused on an issue that interests you.
Spend a short period of time undertaking work experience in a relevant professional context.
You'll keep building your photographic skills, develop your final portfolio and dissertation, and prepare to enter the industry.
Begin to develop a major project using still photography or moving image.
Research and write a dissertation on a subject of your choice.
Complete your major project and develop a professional portfolio.
Build your profile to a professional standard and make contacts within the industry.
The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details.
We are making changes to our curriculum framework for courses starting in 2022. Modest amendments to our course module structure will provide you with new opportunities to collaborate and co-create with students from across disciplines during your studies.
This course page will be updated when these changes have been finalised and applicants will be notified.
How you'll learn
You'll learn through field trips, photographic and scientific excursions, technical workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials. The course includes an optional underwater programme with dive tuition and international photo shoots. There will also be chances to join photographic expeditions to places like the Galapagos Islands, Borneo and the Red Sea, and to take on national and international placements.
Students have previously created projects that have documented climate change in Norwegian glaciers, conducted research in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and filmed conservation work in the Amazon rainforest.
How you'll spend your time
How you'll be assessed
The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.
- Continuous assessment with no formal examinations.
- Portfolios, presentations and essays.
- End of year project and exhibition.
You’ll be guided and supported by practising photographers, scientists and explorers. Their careers span working and exhibiting photographs internationally, producing wildlife films and leading expeditions.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member shown here.
Dr Daro Montag
Daro Montag's art practice has, for many years, been involved with environmental and ecological...
Adrian is a senior lecturer on the BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography and heads the...
Following my Zoology degree at Manchester University, I made my first documentary in the Himalayas...
Dr Joanna Henley
I am a marine educator with a PhD in the visual communication of marine science. I joined the...
I have been teaching on Marine and Natural History Photography since 2014. Having a double set of...
Dr Huw Lewis-Jones
Dr Huw Lewis-Jones is an environmental historian and expedition leader.
Huw is a storyteller and...
Oliver Udy is a photographer, publisher and general facilitator of things.
Udy joined Falmouth...
Dr Tim Cockerill
Dr Tim Cockerill is a zoologist, broadcaster and photographer.
Tim specialises in documenting and...
Claire Braithwaite is an artist and photography educator with over 12 years experience teaching...
I studied photography and then documentary film making in the late 70's and after working as a...
I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan in 2007 with a First Degree Hons in BA Photography. During...
Jane's career began as an IT trainer at News International in London. However, after discovering a...
I graduated from Plymouth College of Art and Design in 2000 where I specialised in fine art...
I have worked as a professional photographer and photography educator for many ...
- Multiple studios, darkrooms and print suites.
- Photography store containing a wide range of professional equipment free to loan.
- Macro and long lenses, macro flash, infrared triggers and time-lapse and underwater cameras.
- Digital suite with Adobe software.
- Photo-microscopy laboratory.
- Digital and traditional processing facilities.
- Walled garden with fully equipped hide for nature study, photography and filming.
How to apply
Apply via UCAS
Ready to join us? If you're applying through UCAS Apply and Track, you'll need to reference the university and course codes below.
- University code: F33
- Course code: WF67
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
As a guide our typical offer at undergraduate level is 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points, primarily from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
UK/EU applications: 29 January 2021 (for equal consideration)
Late applications will be considered if there are places available.
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
What we're looking for
We want someone who:
- Shows genuine passion for photography and the natural world.
- Shows a reasonable level of technical knowledge and skills.
- Has good visual awareness.
- Can research, write and analyse to a reasonable level.
- Intelligently and articulately expresses ideas and responds to questions
Fees, costs & funding
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
Typical course costs
- £350 - Recurring annual costs
- £600-£650 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
- £3,800 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page
Ask a student
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From course details, our facilities and the local area to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.